The Audacity of Quality Requirements

Monday, April 30: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

This full-day class is one of many focused professional development opportunities at QUEST 2012. Class tracks include Agile, Requirements, Process, Test Automation, Test Design, Testing Practices, CSTE Certification Prep, and CSQA Certification Prep.

Course Abstract

Let’s face it; our businesses are becoming more and more complex each day with ever-changing technology, mergers, acquisitions, and the demands of a business striving for the highest quality products. In this context, quality is difficult to achieve without first developing high quality requirements on the projects that will help drive business value. The problem? It takes courage, tenacity, and even audacity to develop high quality requirements that are easily recognizable, clear, testable, and meet the business need. This class will provide interactive exercises, workshops, and lecture that will help you discover, develop, and deliver solid, high-quality requirements.

Course Objectives

This one-day, interactive, exercise-driven course is for anyone who needs insight and practical application in discovering, developing, writing, documenting, and maintaining high quality requirements. Attendees will learn:

  • How to define business problems and objectives that help to control scope, foundational for high-quality requirements
  • How to help the business articulate their needs and desires driving higher quality requirements
  • How to increase project success by learning to write high-quality requirements
  • How to reduce rework by discovering high-quality requirements the first time
  • How to document high-quality requirements by defining criteria to measure requirements
  • How to validate high-quality requirements

Course Outline

Definition and recognition of high-quality requirements

The challenges of high-quality requirements

The state of the industry and how quality requirements are used or not used including successes and failures

Developing goals and objectives to drive high-quality requirements

  • The structure of business requirements (goals and objectives) and how they set the stage for the scope of your requirements effort
  • Exercise to recognize well-formed business requirements
  • Workshop to practice writing well-formed business requirements

Requirements scope modeling

  • Lecture on various scope modeling techniques that will set the stage for high quality requirements
  • Exercise in context diagramming (scope model)
  • Workshop to practice context diagrams that define the correct stakeholders and high-level business needs tracing back to the goals and objectives

The characteristics of high-quality requirements

  • The characteristics of high-quality requirements and the criteria used for waterfall and agile requirements
  • Exercise to recognize requirements that do not meet high-quality characteristics and set criteria

The fundamentals of requirements writing for waterfall and agile projects

  • The differences in writing requirements for waterfall and agile projects
  • Exercise to recognize requirements writing structures

Writing high-quality requirements (waterfall and agile)

  • Workshop to practice writing quality requirements for waterfall projects
  • Workshop to practice writing quality requirements for agile projects
  • Comparison of the two results

Validating high-quality requirements

  • What is validation of requirements?
  • Requirements validation to confirm high-quality requirements
  • Workshop to validate your requirements


Bob Prentiss, Watermark Learning
Bob Prentiss, Watermark Learning
Bob Prentiss is the Client Solutions Director of Business Analysis at Watermark Learning. Bob is CBAP® certified with over 20 years of experience in corporate America; managing BA centers of excellence, assessing and managing BA maturity, quality, and competency. Bob is the developer of the PMI 2011 Product of the Year, the Project R.E.A.L. (Real Experience Applied Learning) class, a hands-on, live project experience. Bob stays involved in giving back to the BA community through mentoring and coaching, providing formal training, developing best practices, and speaking at industry conferences on topics such as CBAP® certification, centers of excellence, BA competency, requirements quality, BA leadership and careers. Bob is a founding member and past President of the IIBA MSP Chapter wearing several hats on the board. He is currently serving on the board as the VP of Professional Development.